President Yanukovych Invites EU and Russia to Negotiating Table Before Vilnius Summit
KYIV, Ukraine, November 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
Kyiv wants to settle disputes about the Association Agreement (AA) with the European
Union by having negotiations involving all three parties – EU, Russia and Ukraine – before
the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. Such statement was made by the President of
Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during his interview with five Ukrainian TV channels today. The
parties should discuss relations in terms of the Free Trade Area with the EU and CIS
countries as well as the reduction of trade turnover especially with Russia and CIS
countries, said the Head of State.
“We cannot ignore our economic interests especially since we do not have any margin of
safety. It is a threat for us,” said President Yanukovych, justifying the recent
resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to halt the signing of the trade
agreements with the EU. Taking into account Ukraine’s overlapping interests both with the
EU and Russia, the president insisted the country should seek a different, more equal
level of partnership.
As to Russia, it was mentioned that Kyiv looked forward to resuming the strategic
partnership agreement with the northern neighbor. Having Ukraine’s economic interests at
heart, the president mentioned that they would be the focal point during the upcoming
Ukraine’s chairmanship at the CIS Summit in 2014.
Gas contracts with Russia remain an issue for Ukraine. The price that Ukraine
currently pays for Russian gas – USD 510 per thousand cubic meters without the 2010 USD
100 discount – does not meet the market approach and needs to be adjusted, said the Head
of State. “We will buy gas where it is cheaper. It doesn’t matter where…today we pay USD
370-380 for gas in Europe. If we can buy cheaper gas from Russia we will do it,” he said.
Within a short time Ukraine made a great leap in establishing close relations with the
EU, however, it may pose too many challenges for the country, noted the president,
stressing that the national interests were the reason that precludes Ukraine from signing
the AA with the EU.
In conclusion, President Yanukovych said that Ukraine was counting on assistance from
the IMF and that he personally held negotiations with the Fund but received a negative
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine